Basement / AC ductwork / ceiling options?

Discussion in 'General Chit Chat' started by SHINTON, Jul 15, 2020.

  1. SHINTON

    SHINTON Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    Triad area of NC
    So we have been in our home now since December, LOVING it and starting to think of the "next" projects now that we know more about what we like, need, etc.

    One of the things that has come up is the office space upstairs (11x11) is a bit crowded and with the doors closed that room tends to get hot during the day (78 vs 74 in the rest of the house..and climbing)

    The other issue is that during the day if I need to speak on phone with customer, even with those doors closed, I know I can hear the tv in the next room / comes across as not terribly professional. With the times we live in, will be working more from home going forward so I am thinking of moving my primary office space downstairs.

    So...here is the questions, thoughts and overall suggestions I am hoping to get feedback on! The current plan is to wall off about 2/3rds of the basement to be man cave / office / gaming space. I have a pretty good plan for that, but the issue is the ceiling area. I probably would be fine as is... but have to admit if I have clients come over (tax business / accounting), a nice ceiling / drywall would just look better overall.

    As you can see in my pictures, the heat/ac ductwork is overhead and all very nicely insulated/wrapped, etc. My question is...can I replace those with "slimmer" profile ductwork? Without doing the exact math, I assume a say 8" round pipe could funnel the same air as say a 3"x10" rectangle duct? Thus gaining me several extra inches overhead?

    I actually do not hit my head on anything at 5'9", have not measured it but I am guessing for the most part well over 6' to bottom of even the biggest ducts but if I was to put in drop ceiling that low, it would be "too low" and feel cramped / odd.

    If I say did JUST around the ducts that low and the rest of the ceiling was up closer to the ceiling that would give me more head room but "look weird" to have all these odd / square areas? Thus the thought of trying to replace the ducts with lower profile (and wider) so maybe I could end up at close to 7' or so for even height for drop ceiling?

    I keep saying drop ceiling, mostly because I suspect keeping easy access to all the wires, plumbing etc is a good idea vs a permanent / drywall roof...willing to hear any and all thoughts or options here.

    "Paint it black..." like you see in commercial spaces? (You can see a lot of this is actually paper side of insulation facing down, not sure painting that is great idea but...could in theory say tack up black fabric or?

    To replace the piping/ductwork here you are seeing...is that HUGE money, sorta huge, $100, $1000, $2000?

    In theory, WAAAAY back in the day I helped hang drop ceilings...like 1988 or something, we used laser to give us a line around the room, I remember that and then basically attaching to rafter and "tieing off" the base at that height..dropping panels in and cutting some to fit odd corners and such.

    What say ye?


    IMG_4063.jpg IMG_4064.jpg
     
  2. ghost

    ghost Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Location:
    Hartsville/Camden,SC
    In for ideas for my future basement remodel. I've thought about doing metal duct down there too but have not researched it yet.
     
    89wrangler likes this.
  3. SHINTON

    SHINTON Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    Triad area of NC
    Another picture with higher angle / can see ceiling better (and very important work going on with lego train set / my nephew and I!) 2020-07-15.jpeg
     
  4. Van-go

    Van-go Not an old man

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2014
    Location:
    Greensboro
    Looks about identical to my basement. I would go with an ACT ceiling (drop ceiling) it's great to have access to plumbing and only replace a few tiles if something leaks. Just go with the cheapest tile you can find. You could call Colonial Material or L&W supply to see if they will sell to the public. I could possibly help with getting a discount from them if they will sell to you.
    you can still do bulkheads around trunk lines and run tile vertical to go back up to the main ceiling height. You'll just need hold down clips to keep the vertical tiles in place.
    I want to do a ceiling in my basement but really don't want it to sit at 7ft above the floor...
     
  5. Fabrik8

    Fabrik8 Overcomplicator

    Joined:
    May 27, 2015
    Location:
    Huntersville
    You can find round to rectangular duct calculators online, but if you have 8 inch duct and want to go with 3 x Something rectangular, the Something is probably going to be 15-20 inches wide I'm guessing. The flow drag in a flat duct like that is a lot, so it's not just a straight area-to-area calculation. There are people here with actual HVAC knowledge (not me), I'm just using my intuition about sizing.
     
  6. Futbalfantic

    Futbalfantic Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2006
    Location:
    Charlotte
    doc likes this.
  7. 89wrangler

    89wrangler Not a new member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Location:
    Bostic,NC
    Following as well. Ours is similar too. Have 9 1/2' ceiling height. Thought about the drop ceiling, but damn it is way more expensive than it used to be. from what I can recall from 25 years ago anyway.
     
  8. jcramsey

    jcramsey Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    Shooting from the hip here.... anybody that knows what they’re doing, feel free to correct me if this is a terrible idea. Maybe swap out your fiberglass insulation for some foam board insulation, tidy up all the exposed wiring, etc. as much as you can and spray it all black like you mentioned.

    Would maximize your ceiling height and you would still have access to everything if you needed to repair something.

    Could look good if done right.

    EADE86D2-8B60-4A30-AADF-3A9B3DC23A50.jpeg
     
    ramjo and ghost like this.
  9. Mac5005

    Mac5005 Welding Instructor

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rocky Mount
    Don’t really need to insulate between two conditioned spaces unless it’s for sound dampening.

    Rigid insulation products don’t work well for sound dampening.
     
    jcramsey likes this.
  10. Ron

    Ron Dum Spiro Spero Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2005
    Location:
    Sharon, SC
    is that your place?
     
  11. jcramsey

    jcramsey Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    Nah, just a pic from a quick Google search. You know they ain’t got basements in the Lowcountry :flipoff2:
     
    ghost likes this.
  12. RatLabGuy

    RatLabGuy You look like a monkey and smell like one too

    Joined:
    May 18, 2005
    Location:
    Churchville, MD
    This.
    Is this basement space conditioned?
    If it is, or if thats your eventual intention, I'm not sure what that insulation is doing for you. Take it out, then insulate the walls w/ foam board and from in front of it, drywall etc so its all part of the same envelope.
     
  13. ghost

    ghost Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Location:
    Hartsville/Camden,SC
    This is what I was thinking. We had/have a drop ceiling in the basement before the 1000 year flood. I'd like to keep the old rough cut floor joist exposed. It went from finished to stripped in a weekend.
     
  14. RatLabGuy

    RatLabGuy You look like a monkey and smell like one too

    Joined:
    May 18, 2005
    Location:
    Churchville, MD
    ^^ This is also what I'm doing, my height is only 7'4" slab to joist. I spent the time moving wires and plumbing etc so it looks nice, and just leave it open.
    Unfortunately there's not a lot you can do about acoustics.
     
  15. Caver Dave

    Caver Dave Just holdin' it down here in BFV Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    Location:
    Hooterville (24171)
    Keep in mind that just because you can hear it, your client may not...
    I use a headset with noise cancelling mic and feedback from the other end has been great!
    I have times where there's something noisy going on (my wife vacuuming, dogs going ape-shat over a delivery/squirrel, etc.) and they heard nothing...

    Feel free to crank up the tube and give me a call! We'll figure out exactly what can be heard!

    Nothing we're doing can be as bad as an India(n) call center... where 100 of them are in a 20' x 20' room and all on speaker :rolleyes:
     
    Ron and jcramsey like this.
  16. SHINTON

    SHINTON Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    Triad area of NC
    Currently the basement is not air conditioned, but if you look at the picture you will see they DID put in vents in the ductwork, thinking someday it would be! They are all covered up very tightly with AC 'duct tape' of some sort. So the thought is when I basically wall off the "workshop" / garage space from the rest of this, I will uncover those and it WILL then become part of the heated / cooled space. This is pretty important for a couple reasons, the first is simply nicer to be in and the second is I want to be able to store / play my acoustic guitars in this area too!!

    My wife and I walked around over the weekend and I think that by being creative on my wall placement, I will actually "enclose" most of the offending ductwork anyway! I am really down to just 2 ducts left that will be "in the way" so I think I can replace just those 2 instead of my original plan of having to replace a LOT of those! My crappy pic below, you can see circled the vents that are currently covered up, will be uncovered. And the the straight lines down on either side of the ductworks is where we have decided to put a wall between the couch and where the conference room table is. (And another wall on far end where shelving is at, between this area and the rest of the basement / garage space. Finally you can see 2 arrows, those are the only ducts left that really will be "in the way"

    Thinking over the comments so far, the current insulation / removing and then just painting it all black..personally I am all for this option. Wife is thinking that would be uglier (than a drop ceiling!?) and so I think we are still headed down that direction.

    If there are any HVAC folks in the crew here that wants to give me some thoughts in person or online, would love to hear them. I would love to get opinions of folks that know / understand the design of the systems themselves, for example, uncovering those vents downstairs adds say 800-1000sf of heated / cooled basement space and what that will do to my current airflow / system and return airflow too, positive / negative air pressure etc ad nauseum!!

    Basement actually stays nice, mid to low 70s even now during the heat wave, upper 60s over the winter, which tells ya that it is probably already "partially" heated / cooled from imperfect seals / ductwork anyway. Some of this is because of being underground (walk out basement on back side) and some has to be from the current heating / cooling system. I have a dehumidifier down there I leave running 100% down there too, with pump / hose running outside.
    Ducts covered up.JPG
     

Share This Page